As today was such a nice day, I decided some time activating on Wendover Woods was in order. Rather than jostle with the QRM from the ARRL contest on HF, and hearing that 2m was working well, I decided to dust off the Sotabeam and just do VHF today.
I drove up to The Woods and set up in the scenic overlook across The Vale of Aylesbury. It’s a lovely spot inside the activation zone and although it’s popular, there are 3 benches so using one for your gear works fine.
I was ready to go at about 14:15 and started calling on 144.050 CW as alerted. However I didn’t get any replies and for a while I was really struggling with some very bad QRN.
I didn’t have a self spot facility so after 10 minutes or so without a reply, I decided to go to 144.300 and call on SSB instead. This brought an immediate response from M0DSZ in Shropshire and, after a QSY to 144.320, a good run of stations was worked including Roger G0TRB who also spotted me. I was pleased to work up into North Wales to GW0DSP and GW4EVX along a pretty poor path between us so conditions weren’t bad at all.
After things dried up on SSB I called again on 144.050 CW but again drew a blank so I flipped the beam to vertical and called on 145.500 FM. To my surprise, I was answered by Fred GI4MWA/P on GI/MM-010. We QSY’ed to 145.475 but you could have knocked me down with feather and we were both delighted with this FM S2S QSO.
After a couple more QSO’s on FM, I called back on 144.300 SSB and rustled up a QSO with G6XLL in London who was after my WAB book numbers. I was then tail-ended by Richard G0IBE/P for another S2S with him on G/CE-001. The lack of CW QSO’s was more than mitigated by another S2S QSO… great!
I was just about to pack up when I was called by Don G0RQL, who I had missed calling me earlier. Another final call and QSO with 2E0OTL in Wiltshire and I was done and it was time to pack up before the forest gates were locked.
Thanks to all callers and to Roger G0TRB for the spot.
18 QSO’s (15 SSB, 3 FM) including 2 S2S.
Icom 706 II G with 15-20W SSB to a horizontal SB3 or 10W FM to a vertical SB3.
73 Marc G0AZS